Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Book: Babel

 Book: Babel

Author: R.F. Kuang

Pages: 560

This is my 50th read of the year

I am going to just plop the Amazon review here for this book to save time
"828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel.
Babel is the world's center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization.
For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide…

Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? "

I could not get into this book. I tried - I REALLY tried.  I had read Yellowface by this author and did not like it at all, so I probably went in thinking I wasn't going to like it.  Which isn't fair.  My problem with this book was it seemed to have way too many words to say very little.  It started out pretty good, and I was hopeful, but then it just went downhill.  I know what she was trying to do.  But this has been trope in a lot of recent novels and honestly - soap box in a novel that isn't non-fiction isn't my thing.  I just want to read a story.  And when the story gets lost and the soapbox takes over, I become disinterested.  This is a personal thing.  

Stars: 3

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